Sunday, June 26, 2005

Baseball / 야구

Yesterday evening, for the first time in my life, I went to a baseball game.

Apart from only the vaguest memories of playing 'rounders' as a kid, I had not a clue of the rules or anything important like that. For the first ten minutes, in fact, I didn't have the heart to point out that I wasn't sure which team was which. But, well, I'm not the greatest sports spectator the world's ever known. I'll admit that much.

A friend of a friend here who's an amateur baseball player in a local team invited me along to watch Lotte (from Busan) play Kia (from Gwangju). Lotte had been doing very well so far this season I'd heard, and everyone's talking about them down here.

It took a while to have any idea what was going on on the field, but the crowd was entertainment enough until someone could take their eyes away from the four oversized brown molehills on the otherwise green pitch for long enough to try to explain the rules. Something like, there are only 8 people on a baseball team, even though I could clearly see at least 30 people wearing the same uniform; a 'strike' is when the guy with the bat DOESN'T strike the ball; and a 'ball' is actually a NO-BALL, because it's outside the 'strike zone'. You have to hit the ball. Preferably inside the stadium. The bats really aren't the most useful design for hitting such a small ball though, as evidenced by how many flew backwards into the crowd...

The atmosphere was terrific (apart from the downer at the end - Lotte lost, 5-7) as lots of groups of families and friends had turned out, laden with beer and dried squid aplenty, for the game. The cheerleaders were also very, er, professional.

Apparently, unlike the other clubs in Korea, Lotte have a tradition that when a ball gets hit into the crowd, it gets given to a youngster. Shouts of "아주라!" (Give it to a kid!) sprang up wherever a ball landed. The little boy in the seat in front of us was getting seriously excited about that - "아주라! 아주라!"

To the catchy tune of "Glory, Glory, Halleluia", here's Lotte's theme tune:
"Lotte, Lotte, Lotte, Lo-tte,
Lotte, Lotte, Lotte, Lo-tte,
Lotte, Lotte, Lotte, Lo-tte,
Seung-ni-e [victory], Lotte!"

1 comment:

智文Julie said...

"아주라 아주라~" ㅋㅋㅋㅋ 정말 웃기네요.
한국인이 들어도 좀 웃기지만, 외국인의 의 입에서 나온 아주라는 훨씬 더 재미있고 신선하네요.